Have you ever had the thing where you sit down and fire up Netflix to continue watching an undoubtedly impeccably-selected intellectual show (Cooking On High, for instance, the world’s first entirely legal cannabis-based cookery programme) only to find that some knuckle-dragging idiot has been watching something stupid like, uh, a documentary on maths or some sort of “drama” that isn’t even in English, the dumbass, and not only is the next episode not cued up (luckily Cooking On High is only about twelve minutes an episode so you can watch loads at once), but all of the recommendations and “Because you watched…” advice are ruined?
It’s the worst. Who are these idiots? And how can they be stopped?
Mike Angiulo, an engineer from Washington who has the only thing worse and more likely to mess things up than flatmates - he has children - came up with an ingenious way of making sure his profile was never used, so as not to perpetually be offered Octonauts.
By hiding behind an offputtingly boring, non-username-like username, he kept them off it. Ingenious. You could even go one step further and create another profile in your actual name, then never use it. Or keep one nice and fancy for visitors (“Ah, of course, I stopped watching the latest episode of The Clever Person’s Show About Being Really Brainy in order to rescue a stricken puppy. Anyway…”) and use the other for algorithm-ruining episodes of Man Gets Kicked Up Arse.
You might occasionally run into a similar problem on YouTube, where a drunken nostalgic hour in which you watch eighteen nu-metal videos in a row convinces the algorithm that you are basically Fred Durst, and for a month or so it suggests nothing but rap-rock hybrids recorded between 1998 and 2003. If you have the presence of mind to think of this beforehand, the YouTube app now offers an Incognito Mode. Yeah, it turns out there’s a use for Incognito Mode besides men in adverts secretly buying jewellery for their wives - who knew?